Henry Pyrgos hopes Glasgow-Edinburgh switch will boost Scotland chances

Henry Pyrgos in action for Edinburgh in the 40-14 win over Toulon. Picture: SNS Group
Henry Pyrgos in action for Edinburgh in the 40-14 win over Toulon. Picture: SNS Group
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Henry Pyrgos admits he gambled on his move to Edinburgh in the hope it would pay off with a return to Gregor Townsend’s Scotland line-up.

The scrum-half rolled the dice during the summer when he decided to walk away from a Glasgow side he had put eight years of service into and sign up for Richard Cockerill’s capital revolution.

So far the results are encouraging, with the 29-year-old having earned himself a regular slot at Murrayfield while also impressing those in charge of the national team.

Having been left out of Townsend’s summer tour squad, Pyrgos is back in the 40-man group named for the upcoming autumn Tests.

But the jackpot could come in Cardiff in November, with a potential starting slot against Wales up for grabs as Greig Laidlaw - who has not been released for the game by Clermont Auvergne - misses out.

He said: “Every Scottish qualified player wants to play for Scotland and I’m no different.

“Mine is a really competitive position but I’m just trying to play as well as I can week on week and if I can get an opportunity to play for Scotland that would be amazing.

“Was improving my chances of playing for Scotland behind the decision to move in the summer? Yeah, partly.

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“First and foremost you want to play rugby. If you’re not playing you’re unlikely to be playing for the national team.

“It was competitive at Glasgow and I wasn’t playing as much as I wanted to and needed to.

“At the moment I’m playing quite a bit which has been great. If I keep playing well then there’s a chance I can get selected. So if I keep playing well then hopefully that chance will come.”

Pyrgos - a title winner with Glasgow in 2015 - was lured east by Cockerill as the former England skipper looks to drive up standards at Edinburgh.

Saturday’s stunning bonus-point win over French giants Toulon in the Heineken Champions Cup was proof his methods are starting to take effect.

But Pyrgos warned his new team-mates they will have to maintain that level of display if they want to match Warriors’ title-winning feats.

“It’s been going well for me at Edinburgh,” he said. “I’ve had quite a lot of minutes on the pitch and I’ve really enjoyed it.

“I’ve found the boys and the staff really welcoming. I’ve had a bit of stick coming from Glasgow but that is what you expect.

“There are loads of good young players there. They have a really dedicated coaching staff who work really hard to prepare us really well.

“But the only way we’ll achieve the success Glasgow have had is if we consistently get results.

“I suppose it will be hard because there is a lot of quality in the league.

“But we need to focus week by week if we’re to get better. It’s great to beat a side like Toulon but we need to back that up now.”